Thanks to Tulane, others for TigerWave success

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Tulane this past weekend took a huge step in growing women’s golf in the best moment I have ever seen in New Orleans.

The University Club, home course of the LSU golf team, is closed while undergoing a major renovation. Tulane did what great programs do – they showed their true character. Tulane teamed up with LSU to put on a first-class golf tournament at English Turn Golf and Country Club.

While the Wave was coming off a tremendous win in their last tournament in Georgia, defeating some of the nation’s best, this was not their week. This is golf. Sometimes you can have a tough week and you still win, Tulane won last weekend with not their scores but with their class.

The number one player in college golf was there. We had four of the top ten teams in the nation in the field. We had scores of 66, 67, several more in the 60’s and the winning individual was three-under par for 54 holes in very windy conditions. The Gulf States PGA were there as rules officials, and it is always good to see your friends in the business. Not to mention the prescence of the many volunteers who came together to give their time, plus the horsepower from LSU.

It was great to see English Turn showcased; my hat is off to Derek Sanders of the PGA and John Warner of the GCSAA plus their staffs. They ran a professional-level event, and the golf course was ideal in spite of some of the most difficult weather in decades.

Also, my thanks to Coach J.T. Horton of the Green Wave Women’s Golf Team and Sue Bower, Tulane assistant athletic director, for showing the nation we can do it right in New Orleans. Women’s golf was the real winner, and I saw how much Tulane is respected both on and off the golf course, win or lose.

The Results

The #2 ranked team in the nation, the Auburn Tigers, showed their strength in women’s collegiate golf with a seven-stroke victory. Saturday’s second round had steady 25 mph winds gusting to over 30.

I spoke with Auburn Coach Kim Evans following the awards presentation and you can see her quite confidence and humble style as a gracious winner. In her 14th year as head coach at her alma mater she has produced five SEC Championship teams and in 2002 was the National Coach of the Year.

“we have gotten off to a slow start this spring, (finishing 8th at the Arizona Wildcat Collegiate) but this win will hopefully get us going in the right direction for the rest of the year,” explianed Evans.

Coach Karen Bahnsen’s Lady Tigers had LSU in position to win, but he team did not make the final stretch count. “we threw up on the back nine,” Bahnsen said bluntly.

Megan McCrystalLSU showed though they will be around for Auburn to keep an eye on at the SEC Championships. You can follow all of these teams by going to golfstat.com.

But there was great news for the Purple and Gold. Megan McChrystal’s steady play including sinking a 20-foot putt for birde on her last hole gave the LSU standout junior a one shot win over Callie Nelson of Virginia. This is Megan’s third individual victory since she has been at LSU. Megan had one of the lowest scores Saturday in a gale with 72.

I asked her what was her thought process going into some very difficult conditions.

“On a day like this I know going in and I will be missing a lot of greens in regulation. I know par is a good score on each hole and I turn to my short game to carry me through,” McChrystal said. These are good words for all golfers.

Saturday saw players going from rounds in the 70’s on Friday to up into the 80’s and as high as 96.

Top Ten Teams

Even Par 288 (Counting best four players scores out of five each day)

Auburn      305-296-288   889

TCU            305-298-293   896

Alabama    293-314-290   897

LSU     294-307-300   901

Virginia    296-315-291   902

Tennessee    305-311-289   905

Georgia    307-313-286   906

North Carolina  302-312-295   909

Wake Forest    314-315-283   912

Ole Miss    300-321-296   917

Indivdual Top 5

Megan McChrystal – LSU         72-72-69   213

Callie Nelson – Virginia         73-72-69   214

Cydney Clanton – Auburn         73-71-71   215

Candace Schepperle – Auburn   76-76-67  219

Tessa Teachmann – LSU         70-75-75   220

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